Dracula Season 1 Review “Four Roses”

Dracula (NBC) Episode 9 Four Roses (10)

In the penultimate episode of “Dracula” of the season, we finally got around to one of the more memorable elements of the original Bram Stoker tale, in “Four Roses.” And I must say, I didn’t really see it coming. It’s funny because since I’ve been doing this column I’ve mentioned it quite a few times, and just when I was thinking it wasn’t going to happen: BAM! It did.

I’m of course talking about the Lucy attack and transformation, and the show did a really great job of reinventing the scenario in a way that was true to the originality of what “Dracula” was been doing all along, which is to re-imagine the classic novel we know the story of so well. To be sure, certain things have worked better than others. I have not hidden my utter lack of interest in all this geomagnetic wazoo and resonating machines and all that jazz. The Order of the Dragon business was a bit dubious to me as well, but it’s gotten better as its gone along, so I don’t mind giving it a pass.

However, they’ve really gone the slow burn route with most everything, making me wonder if perhaps a slightly briefer mini-series version might have been a better way to go. I mean, a ten episode commitment isn’t that bad, but I do think the plotting could have stood with some judicious editing along the way. Especially since the stuff that did work, worked really well, and the rest only serves to drag down the good parts, unfortunately.

So, let’s concentrate on the things that did work. The stuff with Harker going a bit dark worked well for me, as did his eventual conversion into the Order. The scenes where Lucy visited Mina in the hospital, then she subsequently confronted Harker were among the more fulfilling dramatic scenes the show has ever done.

About my only complaint was that Dracula continues to withhold his feelings for her, even as Mina is finally ready to commit to him. I mean, I get holding off on things until the big climax, but we can’t even get a kiss, after she tells him it’s over with Harker, finally? (Yes, we did get the flashback scene in the last episode, but that wasn’t technically Mina, it was Ilona, so that doesn’t really count.)

Still, the whole Lucy/Harker revelation was a perfect way to set Dracula off to do what he did, so the overall payoff was well worth it. That means, next time we see her, Lucy will be a vampire herself. Will she use this to her advantage, in terms of embracing her darker tendencies- or her sexier ones? One can only hope. Hey, vampires are able to compel people, right?

This might well be a plus in Lucy’s case, you never know. Alas, if this season is all we get, we may never find out. They might well kill her off anyway. I can see her and Jayne having a showdown, totally. After all, Jayne’s the one that caused Lucy to go after Harker in the first place, as Lucy is, in fact, a lesbian. Or maybe she’ll make a play for Mina again and Dracula will have to take her out again, this time leaving her for dead.

The stuff with Browning was good, as well. It was fun seeing the usually so severe and reserved guy lose it a bit when his kids turned up missing. Naturally, he flew off the handle at Dracula, but it was actually Van Helsing who took them. Called it! (Not that it was too hard to figure out, what with Browning having attacked his family and all- though it did stop him from harming them…yet.) Anyway, we’ll see what his nefarious plan is to bring down Dracula’s resonator next week. From the looks of the preview, the thing is going to explode, possibly with Dracula there. Will he prove unstoppable by fire? I guess we’ll see.

All in all, a good set-up episode that sets the stage for some hopefully impressive fireworks on what may well be the final episode of “Dracula.” What are your predications for the big finale? How do you think they will end it? Who will make it out alive? Will Van Helsing get his revenge on Browning? Will Browning and/or Jayne manage to take down Dracula? Will it be fun watching them try? Sound off on this and more below, and see you for the big finale!